HOW TO SLASH TAXES & FIX THE FATAL FLAW IN THE CONSTITUTION
By Joel Turtel
July 8, 2006
The Constitution established the principle that our Federal government has only those powers granted to it by the sovereign people. The Bill of Rights forbade government from making any laws that violated our fundamental political rights such as freedom of speech and the press. It established the principle that we have inviolate individual and political rights that are outside government's control.
But the Constitution had a fatal flaw --- it did not put economic liberty outside government's control. It gave the federal government the power to coin money, "promote the general welfare," and "regulate commerce" among the states. Our Founding Fathers could not foresee how these powers would be turned against us. They could not foresee how today's liberals, Democrats, and Republicans would use these economic powers to create our devouring socialist Welfare/Entitlement State.
Most Americans condemn Communist governments for violating their citizen-slaves' political rights and liberty. Censorship, secret police, a one-party system, rigged courts, and suppression of free speech and a free press are the standard vicious and painfully obvious characteristics of such regimes.
In Communist countries, the close connection between political liberty and property rights is also obvious. In Cuba and North Korea, the economy and political power are one and the same. The Communist party makes most economic decisions for millions of helpless citizen-slaves. It decides where a person will work, what he can buy, where he can live, how much he'll be paid, and thousands of other economic decisions that Americans make for themselves and take for granted (although Congress is now increasingly strangling our economic freedom with suffocating regulations).
A Communist government therefore has the power of life or death over every man, woman, and child in the country. It can fire someone from his job and not let him work anywhere else. It can lower a worker's wages or cut off a retiree's pension. It can dictate who goes to college and who becomes a laborer. The government can take someone out of the factory and force him to work in the fields, as they did in Cuba, Cambodia, and the Soviet Union.
Through this awesome economic power, a Communist government can sentence a man and his family to death by slow starvation without bothering with legal proceedings. Without property rights and economic liberty, political rights are meaningless.
Most people who are forced to choose between food and free speech will choose food. The communist Cuban government has a constitution that supposedly guarantees political rights, but this constitution is not worth the paper it's written on. Cubans are already slaves through their government's total economic power over them.
In welfare/entitlement states around the world, including ours, the same connection exists between political rights and economic liberty. But in a welfare/entitlement state, people still have some political rights and a semi-free economy. As a result, in America we find it harder to believe that government threatens our political rights when it violates our property rights. In a welfare/entitlement state, it's harder to see the link between political rights and economic liberty.
Welfare/entitlement states have economic powers that are similar to those in Communist countries. France, Germany, and other European welfare/entitlement states regulate wages, heath care, employment policies, product standards, safety standards, transportation, the environment, and most other areas of it's citizens' lives. They also loot their citizen's earnings through taxes to pay for all the welfare and entitlement programs.
A welfare/entitlement state differs from a Communist government only by degree--- it's just a milder version of the same poison. Both have the same goals-to allegedly "help" people in "need," and both use the same means-compulsion. The difference between the two is how much force the government uses, and whether force is imposed by the communist party or by majority rule.
To confirm this, try not paying your income taxes or refuse to obey some regulation and see what happens. If you resist the tax collectors, you'll end up dead or in jail. When government withholds income taxes from your paycheck to pay for welfare, subsidy, or entitlement programs, it violates your property rights and economic liberty. Income taxes are simply legalized looting by our own government.
It doesn't matter that a Communist government owns all property while a "democratic" welfare/entitlement state "allows" private property. What's important is not who owns property, but who controls it. When taxes confiscate up to 50 percent of your income, as they now do in America, you own only 50 percent of what you earn. When government bureaucrats can control your property with strangling regulations, your ownership is meaningless -- your hard-earned paycheck or profits are up for grabs by Federal and state tax looter-collectors.
We all spend what we earn on ourselves and our families. Who in his right mind would give away over 40 percent of his hard-earned money to pay for other peoples' education, food stamps, subsidized rents, farm subsidies, health insurance, savings and loan bailouts, or retirement benefits? No one would, and that's why force is necessary through compulsory income taxes.
Every penny that an alleged "democratic" welfare/entitlement state takes from you by majority-rule force represents a theft of your most precious possession --- time. It represents a theft of part of your life, the part you spent earning that money. Welfare/entitlement-state liberals, democrats, and too many Republicans assume that you don't own the money you earn, and therefore that you don't own your life. They assume that your duty in life is to work for the benefit of others, not for yourself or your family. They assume that you are your brother's keeper, whether you like it or not. When welfare/entitlement state bureaucrats loot over 40 percent of your income with taxes, it means you're a slave working for others for almost five months of every year of your life.
To stop this injustice, once and for all, we have to forbid government from violating our economic liberty. The way to do this is to build a thick wall between government and the economy with a constitutional amendment, similar to the First Amendment that separates Church and State. We desperately need a constitutional amendment that separates the Economy from the State, and creates an inviolable protection for our property rights.
Our religious beliefs are off-limits to government meddlers because of the First Amendment. Similarly, under this new "economic rights" amendment to the Constitution, our paychecks, business profits, and anything else we earn would be ours by right and off-limits to government tax collectors.
Under such a Constitutional amendment, Congress and state governments would be forbidden from raising or using any tax money to give any economic handout or subsidy to any group whatsoever. Under this Amendment, Congress and state governments would be forbidden from giving any welfare, subsidies, entitlement payments, tax breaks, or any other form of money transfer to farmers, welfare mothers, college students, illegal aliens, government (public) schools, big corporations, or any other group that now sticks its hand out for unearned benefits from our politicians. Congress and state legislators would be out of the Santa Claus business with other people's money.
With such an Amendment in place, special-interest lobbyists would disappear. Just as the Supreme Court overturns any law that violates the wall between Church and State today, it would slap down any welfare, subsidy, or "entitlement" program to any special-interest group or corporation whatsoever, including middle-class programs like Medicare.
Lobbyists would then quickly realize the futility of wasting their time trying to buy or bribe a Congressman or state legislator to pass a law that gave his group a special handout or subsidy paid for by the rest of us. Handouts, and organized government looting, would be outlawed by this Amendment. Social Security (a combination "insurance" and partial-welfare program), to which millions of hard-working Americans made contributions during their lifetime, would be privatized and phased out, while protecting existing retirees' current benefits.
When the organized looting of the welfare/entitlement state is outlawed by this Constitutional amendment, we could then eliminate the income tax, permanently. The vast majority of money that Congress and state governments spend today is for welfare, subsidy, or entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, welfare programs, "public" education, foreign aid, corporate subsidies, ad nauseam. Once we eliminated these looting programs or privatized them, we could slash taxes to the bone. Our trillion-dollar budgets with 400 billion dollar deficits could be reduced down to pennies on the dollar, with no more deficits. Slash government's spending orgy for the welfare/entitlement state, and we can slash taxes and explode our productivity and standard of living for rich and poor alike.
So what we need to end the legalized looting of the welfare/entitlement state that is bankrupting our nation, is a new Constitutional amendment that separates Economy and State, similar to the separation of Church and State. Then we can all once again keep what we earn. Government looters could not steal our hard-earned money in the name of "helping" others, by turning compassion into compulsion.
© 2006 Joel Turtel - All Rights
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Joel Turtel, author of Public Schools, Public Menace: How Public Schools Lie To Parents and Betray Our Children, holds a degree in Psychology. For the last ten years he has served as an Education Policy Analyst, studying the climate of today's public schools and its effect on children and parents.
Mr. Turtel has written two books, published over fifty articles, and has been interviewed in both print and broadcast media on the subject. His latest book, Public Schools, Public Menace has garnered national media attention – recently, for example, Dr. Laura Schlessinger featured the book on her nationally syndicated radio show.
Joel Turtel is available to discuss his book Public Schools, Public Menace in the media, at conferences, or with individual groups. Be warned though, you may be shocked by the revelations he has uncovered in America's public-school system.
When the organized looting of the welfare / entitlement state is outlawed by this Constitutional amendment, we could then eliminate the income tax, permanently.